Facing a deteriorating financial situation and investigation by the Securities & Exchange Commission, the beleaguered Mills Corp. saw its self-imposed deadline for acquisition bids come and go in mid-June with little news emerging as to the company's fate. The REIT issued only a brief statement indicating that it had received responses, but declined to provide any information about the bids or elaborate on how many companies expressed interest.

That has some industry insiders wondering whether Mills will be able to sell itself wholesale, or will be forced to sell off pieces.

“People are saying that some of the assets are not attractive to them, the development pipeline is too risky and with things like Xanadu, you don't know how it's going to turn out, so it's difficult to put a premium on it,” says one analyst who asked not to be named.